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Origins of Cultivation (was Re: [ANE-2] Old Figs)

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  • Robert Whiting
    ... I fail to see what the connection is between the ability to make fire and the origin of cultivation. One might as well speculate on the connection between
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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      On Fri, 2 Jun 2006, DAVID HALL wrote:

      > Having read that man made fire may have been sparked by 250,000 BP and
      > another study indicating men kindled fires about 100,000 BP,
      >
      > http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/tcoughl1/ENVS2/fire.html
      >
      > one might presume we do not know when the first cultivation occurred.

      I fail to see what the connection is between the ability to make fire and
      the origin of cultivation. One might as well speculate on the connection
      between the making of stone tools and the origin of cultivation.

      > Wild wheat was gathered before people learned to produce the hybrid
      > grain that clings to the head after it is ripe. They may have been
      > scattering seeds on the ground as cultivation long before they learned
      > to select the best seeds to produce the hybrid (tame) grain that may
      > have been produced in the Neolithic if not earlier.

      While we may not know precisely when the first cultivation occured, we
      know more about it than this idle speculation might imply. For a recent
      summary of specialist knowledge on the origins of cultivation, see <i>The
      Origins of Agriculture and Crop Domestication</i>, Proceedings of the
      Harlan Symposium, 10-14 May 1997, Aleppo, Syria, Edited by, A.B. Damania,
      J. Valkoun, G. Willcox, and C.O. Qualset, available as an e-publication at

      http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/publications/HTMLPublications/47/begin.htm

      One of the leaders in research on the origins of cultivation is the CNRS
      Institut de Préhistoire Orientale, Jalès, France, where experimentation
      with wild progenitors of cereals has taken place over a long period.
      See in particular WILLCOX, G. " Agrarian change and the beginnings of
      cultivation in the Near East: evidence from wild progenitors, experimental
      cultivation and archaeobotanical data." In: J. Hather (ed): <i>Change in
      subsistance systems: social theory and biological processes</i>. World
      Archaeological Conference, Routlege: London, 1999. 478-500.

      George Willcox and his colleagues from Jalès have also written a ton of
      other articles on the topic which can be found with a Google search.


      Bob Whiting
      whiting@...
    • Christian de Vartavan
      In a nutshell Georges Willcox says that crop cultivation (of wheat or barley in particular) was a long process (several centuries). Gordon Hillman (London
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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        In a nutshell Georges Willcox says that crop
        cultivation (of wheat or barley in particular) was a
        long process (several centuries).

        Gordon Hillman (London Univ.) says that it was a short
        one (one to three human generations).

        The problem with Willcox's theory is that
        experimenting with wheat (einkorn) in the UK like W.
        did in Jales, Hillman was able to trigger the gene for
        the domestication process. Anyone who is interested in
        the origin of domestication ought to read Hillman's
        experimental and I would say fundamental study.

        Best,

        Christian de Vartavan
        Egyptologist and Oriental Archaeobotanist







        --- Robert Whiting <whiting@...> a écrit :

        > On Fri, 2 Jun 2006, DAVID HALL wrote:
        >
        > > Having read that man made fire may have been
        > sparked by 250,000 BP and
        > > another study indicating men kindled fires about
        > 100,000 BP,
        > >
        > >
        >
        http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/tcoughl1/ENVS2/fire.html
        > >
        > > one might presume we do not know when the first
        > cultivation occurred.
        >
        > I fail to see what the connection is between the
        > ability to make fire and
        > the origin of cultivation. One might as well
        > speculate on the connection
        > between the making of stone tools and the origin of
        > cultivation.
        >
        > > Wild wheat was gathered before people learned to
        > produce the hybrid
        > > grain that clings to the head after it is ripe.
        > They may have been
        > > scattering seeds on the ground as cultivation long
        > before they learned
        > > to select the best seeds to produce the hybrid
        > (tame) grain that may
        > > have been produced in the Neolithic if not
        > earlier.
        >
        > While we may not know precisely when the first
        > cultivation occured, we
        > know more about it than this idle speculation might
        > imply. For a recent
        > summary of specialist knowledge on the origins of
        > cultivation, see <i>The
        > Origins of Agriculture and Crop Domestication</i>,
        > Proceedings of the
        > Harlan Symposium, 10-14 May 1997, Aleppo, Syria,
        > Edited by, A.B. Damania,
        > J. Valkoun, G. Willcox, and C.O. Qualset, available
        > as an e-publication at
        >
        >
        >
        http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/publications/HTMLPublications/47/begin.htm
        >
        > One of the leaders in research on the origins of
        > cultivation is the CNRS
        > Institut de Préhistoire Orientale, Jalès, France,
        > where experimentation
        > with wild progenitors of cereals has taken place
        > over a long period.
        > See in particular WILLCOX, G. " Agrarian change and
        > the beginnings of
        > cultivation in the Near East: evidence from wild
        > progenitors, experimental
        > cultivation and archaeobotanical data." In: J.
        > Hather (ed): <i>Change in
        > subsistance systems: social theory and biological
        > processes</i>. World
        > Archaeological Conference, Routlege: London, 1999.
        > 478-500.
        >
        > George Willcox and his colleagues from Jalès have
        > also written a ton of
        > other articles on the topic which can be found with
        > a Google search.
        >
        >
        > Bob Whiting
        > whiting@...
        >


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      • Robert Whiting
        ... George. He s British. ... In either case, we are still talking about a relatively short period of time (not millennia). ... It would be easier to read if
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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          On Sat, 3 Jun 2006, Christian de Vartavan wrote:

          > In a nutshell Georges Willcox says that crop
          > cultivation (of wheat or barley in particular) was a
          > long process (several centuries).

          George. He's British.

          > Gordon Hillman (London Univ.) says that it was a short
          > one (one to three human generations).

          In either case, we are still talking about a relatively short period of
          time (not millennia).

          >
          > The problem with Willcox's theory is that
          > experimenting with wheat (einkorn) in the UK like W.
          > did in Jales, Hillman was able to trigger the gene for
          > the domestication process. Anyone who is interested in
          > the origin of domestication ought to read Hillman's
          > experimental and I would say fundamental study.

          It would be easier to read if you provided a reference to the study,
          rather than just the name of the author. I presume that you are talking
          about Hillman and Davies 1990, but there is no way to tell from your
          description.

          For those who wonder what the discussion is about, a very good one-page
          summary for a general audience will be found at

          http://3e.plantphys.net/article.php?ch=t&id=222

          A more detailed and technical discussion can be found in "The Transition
          to Agriculture: Climate Reversals, Population Density, and Technical
          Change," by Gregory K. Dow, Nancy Olewiler, and Clyde G. Reed (available
          on the web at <www.aeaweb.org/annual_mtg_papers/2006/0108_1300_0404.pdf>).
          This last article is written from an economics point of view and includes
          other factors besides the genetic modification of the wild progenitors of
          domestic cereals.


          Bob Whiting
          whiting@...
        • Graham Hagens
          This question may not be appropriate for ANE-2, but I hope the moderators will let it through if only to request for direction to references or an altenative
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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            This question may not be appropriate for ANE-2, but I hope the moderators
            will let it through if only to request for direction to references or an
            altenative discussion group.

            Compared to the parallel passages in the Synoptic gospels, John 13: 26-27
            suggest an anti-sacramental bias. I am wondering if Johanine studies have
            explored this, and if so where such ideas might be found.

            Thanks

            Graham Hagens
          • George F Somsel
            One place you might pose this question is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bibexegesis/ Graham Hagens wrote: This question may not be
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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              One place you might pose this question is

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bibexegesis/

              Graham Hagens <rgrhagens@...> wrote:
              This question may not be appropriate for ANE-2, but I hope the moderators
              will let it through if only to request for direction to references or an
              altenative discussion group.

              Compared to the parallel passages in the Synoptic gospels, John 13: 26-27
              suggest an anti-sacramental bias. I am wondering if Johanine studies have
              explored this, and if so where such ideas might be found.

              Thanks

              Graham Hagens



              george
              gfsomsel
            • DAVID HALL
              RE: Robert Whiting s comment: Perhaps there was a confusion between the terms domestication and cultivation. To cultivate implies production of food by
              Message 6 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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                RE: Robert Whiting's comment:

                Perhaps there was a confusion between the terms domestication and cultivation. To cultivate implies "production of food by preparing the land to grow crops". This might mean planting a seed after scratching the ground with a stick and dropping seeds into the loosened soil.

                The article about figs indicated that the figs were evidence of human cultivation without providing details or proof of how the author determined the figs were planted by hand or gathered from fig trees growing wild. Whether the figs were thought to be hybrids from natural cross pollination or pollination by hand. The fig was usually pollinated by a wasp. When the fig was unpollinated it may have been scratched/dressed to enhance a ripening without pollination. This was a form of agricultural technology but not cultivation.

                James Mellaart studied the Neolithic of upper Syria and Anatolia. He cited a study where wild emmer not cultivated was gathered by hand in great quantities. Such seed may have been stored in unfired clay silos from early dates without any cultivation having occurred. Domestication of numerous plants and animals was thought to have occurred as early as the Neolithic.

                Years ago I read a study that put man's ability to start fires from sparks or friction to about 100,000 BP. A few years later I saw another study had moved that date back to 250,000 BP or earlier. It does not have much to do with cultivating figs or plowing ground.

                David Q. Hall
                dqhall@...




                Robert Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:
                On Fri, 2 Jun 2006, DAVID HALL wrote:

                > Having read that man made fire may have been sparked by 250,000 BP and
                > another study indicating men kindled fires about 100,000 BP,
                >
                > http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/tcoughl1/ENVS2/fire.html
                >
                > one might presume we do not know when the first cultivation occurred.

                I fail to see what the connection is between the ability to make fire and
                the origin of cultivation. One might as well speculate on the connection
                between the making of stone tools and the origin of cultivation.

                > Wild wheat was gathered before people learned to produce the hybrid
                > grain that clings to the head after it is ripe. They may have been
                > scattering seeds on the ground as cultivation long before they learned
                > to select the best seeds to produce the hybrid (tame) grain that may
                > have been produced in the Neolithic if not earlier.

                While we may not know precisely when the first cultivation occured, we
                know more about it than this idle speculation might imply. For a recent
                summary of specialist knowledge on the origins of cultivation, see <i>The
                Origins of Agriculture and Crop Domestication</i>, Proceedings of the
                Harlan Symposium, 10-14 May 1997, Aleppo, Syria, Edited by, A.B. Damania,
                J. Valkoun, G. Willcox, and C.O. Qualset, available as an e-publication at

                http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/publications/HTMLPublications/47/begin.htm

                One of the leaders in research on the origins of cultivation is the CNRS
                Institut de Préhistoire Orientale, Jalès, France, where experimentation
                with wild progenitors of cereals has taken place over a long period.
                See in particular WILLCOX, G. " Agrarian change and the beginnings of
                cultivation in the Near East: evidence from wild progenitors, experimental
                cultivation and archaeobotanical data." In: J. Hather (ed): <i>Change in
                subsistance systems: social theory and biological processes</i>. World
                Archaeological Conference, Routlege: London, 1999. 478-500.

                George Willcox and his colleagues from Jalès have also written a ton of
                other articles on the topic which can be found with a Google search.


                Bob Whiting
                whiting@...


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              • DAVID HALL
                In John it was written that Jesus was arrested during the day of Preparation for the Passover. The day began at sunset. In the synoptic Gospels there was bias
                Message 7 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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                  In John it was written that Jesus was arrested during the day of Preparation for the Passover. The day began at sunset.

                  In the synoptic Gospels there was bias that Jesus was celebrating the last supper with his disciples during the night of the Passover feast.

                  Numerous people have published studies of this subject. I have read the Jewish Talmudic laws governing Passover observance in Tractate Pesachim. The Talmud contained history dating back to first temple times (before the 70th year) and was probably codified in the second century. With this in mind I wrote an article on the subject from my own point of view.

                  http://dqhall59.com/lastsupper/index.htm

                  David Q. Hall
                  dqhall@...






                  George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
                  One place you might pose this question is

                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bibexegesis/

                  Graham Hagens <rgrhagens@...> wrote:
                  This question may not be appropriate for ANE-2, but I hope the moderators
                  will let it through if only to request for direction to references or an
                  altenative discussion group.

                  Compared to the parallel passages in the Synoptic gospels, John 13: 26-27
                  suggest an anti-sacramental bias. I am wondering if Johanine studies have
                  explored this, and if so where such ideas might be found.

                  Thanks

                  Graham Hagens



                  george
                  gfsomsel




                  SPONSORED LINKS
                  Near Columbia university University of helsinki

                  ---------------------------------
                  YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


                  Visit your group "ANE-2" on the web.

                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  ANE-2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


                  ---------------------------------





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: ANE-2 Cc: GPG Re: Graham Hagens query on John 13:26-27 From: Bruce Graham had asked about the possible anti-sacramental bias in John 13:26-27, compared
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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                    To: ANE-2
                    Cc: GPG
                    Re: Graham Hagens' query on John 13:26-27
                    From: Bruce

                    Graham had asked about the possible "anti-sacramental bias" in John
                    13:26-27, compared to the Synoptic parallels. Strictly speaking, there are
                    parallels only for Jn 13:26, but is it not 13:27 that is potentially
                    anti-sacramental (with Satan entering into a communicant at a symbolic
                    moment in a commemorative meal)?

                    There is considerable discussion in the Johannine literature (eg, C K
                    Barrett ad loc) about whether the Last Supper was or was not a Paschal meal.
                    Whatever the fact may have been, there are indications that John probably
                    intended to portray it as one. The specific sacramental issue, not
                    surprisingly, seems to have been considered chiefly by Catholic
                    commentators; see for example Raymond E Brown, The Gospel According to John
                    XIII-XXI (Anchor Bible v29a, Doubleday 1970) 557 and 575 n26 and n27, with
                    references to Loisy et al.

                    If not from the Synoptics, where did John get 13:27? The question of John's
                    sources, and how he made use of them, is highly vexed, and constitutes a
                    literature of its own. There is a good recent review of that literature in D
                    Moody Smith, John Among the Gospels, 2ed South Carolina 2001. The Sources of
                    John discussion has been inhibited by the enormous reluctance which, for
                    obvious reasons, exists in the NT field toward the possibility that any of
                    the Evangelists made up anything on their own (or reported innovations among
                    whatever group it is thought that their writing may reflect). Hence the
                    multiplication of "sources" to account for Synoptic complications, of which
                    the extreme example is perhaps Boismard. The world seems still to be on a
                    trajectory leading toward the Faith pole of the Faith/Reason axis, and
                    Smith's chronological summary should perhaps be read with that Zeitgeist
                    factor in mind.

                    The Gospel of Judas might be thought of as one way (not a very orthodox one)
                    to rescue the dilemma raised by Jn 13:27. What John's own idea may have been
                    probably depends in part on whether you associate that passage with the Jn
                    21 addendum, or with the earlier material. The jury seems to be still out
                    (and debating) on that question, which perhaps seemed clearer 20 or 30 years
                    ago.

                    [Our small NT task force is currently considering Gospel interrelationships,
                    including those involving John; I have ventured to forward Graham's question
                    to them, and will be glad to report any suggestions that may result].

                    Bruce

                    E Bruce Brooks
                    Warring States Project
                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                    ... You may wish to join and raise your question on the Johannine Literature Discussion List at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/ You might
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jun 3, 2006
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                      Graham Hagens wrote:

                      > This question may not be appropriate for ANE-2, but I hope the
                      > moderators
                      > will let it through if only to request for direction to references or
                      > an
                      > altenative discussion group.
                      >
                      > Compared to the parallel passages in the Synoptic gospels, John 13:
                      > 26-27
                      > suggest an anti-sacramental bias. I am wondering if Johanine studies
                      > have
                      > explored this, and if so where such ideas might be found.

                      You may wish to join and raise your question on the Johannine Literature
                      Discussion List at:

                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/

                      You might also want to consult the bibliography on this passage in such
                      recent commentaries on GJohn by Beasey-Murray and Craig Keener.

                      But I'm curious to know how you define "sacramental bias" and why you
                      see Jn 13 as suggesting an "anti-sacamental" one.

                      Jeffrey Gibson





                      >
                      >
                      > Thanks
                      >
                      > Graham Hagens
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > SPONSORED LINKS
                      >
                      Near Columbia university University of helsinki

                      > -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                      >
                      > + Visit your group "ANE-2" on the web.
                      >
                      > + To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > ANE-2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > + Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                      > Service.
                      >
                      > -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      >
                      --
                      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
                      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
                      Chicago, Illinois
                      e-mail jgibson000@...



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • E Bruce Brooks
                      To: ANE-2 In Further Response To: Graham Hagens On: John 13:26-27 From: Bruce To previous suggestions, I would like to add links to two AAR/SBL 1999 papers by
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jun 4, 2006
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                        To: ANE-2
                        In Further Response To: Graham Hagens
                        On: John 13:26-27
                        From: Bruce

                        To previous suggestions, I would like to add links to two AAR/SBL 1999
                        papers by Horace Jeffery Hodges, both of which discuss the John passage in
                        question toward the end. Also included is a further link to Felix Just's
                        Johannine Literature Web, which may be a useful forum in which to further
                        pursue the original question.

                        http://catholic-resources.org/John/SBL1999-Hodges.html

                        http://catholic-resources.org/John/SBL1999-HodgesA.html

                        Bruce

                        E Bruce Brooks
                        Warring States Project
                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                      • Robert Whiting
                        ... Yes, there is doubtless a difference between cultivation and domestication. Presumably domestication occurred after cultivation began by selecting the
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jun 4, 2006
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                          On Sat, 3 Jun 2006, DAVID HALL wrote:

                          > RE: Robert Whiting's comment:
                          >
                          > Perhaps there was a confusion between the terms domestication and
                          > cultivation. To cultivate implies "production of food by preparing the
                          > land to grow crops". This might mean planting a seed after scratching
                          > the ground with a stick and dropping seeds into the loosened soil.

                          Yes, there is doubtless a difference between cultivation and
                          domestication. Presumably domestication occurred after cultivation began
                          by selecting the seeds of the best suited grain for cultivation leading
                          eventually to the domesticated variety.

                          > The article about figs indicated that the figs were evidence of human
                          > cultivation without providing details or proof of how the author
                          > determined the figs were planted by hand or gathered from fig trees
                          > growing wild.

                          The BBC article posted by Jim West is better in this respect than the NPR
                          article. To quote from the BBC article
                          (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5038116.stm):

                          After examining the figs, they [the authors] determined that it was a
                          self-pollinating, or parthenocarpic, variety, like the kind we eat
                          today.

                          In nature, parthenocarpic fig trees appear now and again by a chance
                          genetic mutation; but because they do not produce seeds, they cannot
                          reproduce alone - they require a shoot to be removed and replanted.

                          Ofer Bar-Yosef, an archaeologist from Harvard University and an author
                          on the Science paper, said: "Once the parthenocarpic mutation occurred,
                          humans must have recognised that the resulting fruits do not produce new
                          trees, and fig tree cultivation became a common practice.

                          "In this intentional act of planting a specific variant of fig tree, we
                          can see the beginnings of agriculture. This edible fig would not have
                          survived if not for human intervention."

                          One needs to know that the parthenocarpic mutation is tastier than the
                          wild fig an hence was selected by humans for cultivation. The
                          parthenocarpic variety cannot be fertilized and can only be propagated by
                          cultivation. Cultivation by transplanting a shoot from the original tree,
                          however, is very simple.

                          > Whether the figs were thought to be hybrids from natural cross
                          > pollination or pollination by hand. The fig was usually pollinated by a
                          > wasp. When the fig was unpollinated it may have been scratched/dressed
                          > to enhance a ripening without pollination. This was a form of
                          > agricultural technology but not cultivation.

                          The parthenocarpic variety cannot be pollinated, neither by wasps nor by
                          humans. The seeds lack embryos. Interestingly, wasps were found in the
                          figs (I have now had a chance to see the original article in Science
                          rather than the news reports of it; this provides a much more detailed
                          background).

                          > James Mellaart studied the Neolithic of upper Syria and Anatolia. He
                          > cited a study where wild emmer not cultivated was gathered by hand in
                          > great quantities. Such seed may have been stored in unfired clay silos
                          > from early dates without any cultivation having occurred.
                          > Domestication of numerous plants and animals was thought to have
                          > occurred as early as the Neolithic.

                          Almost certainly as early as the neolithic. The existence of villages
                          implies cultivation (permanent settlements in the vicinity of an assured
                          food supply). While it is usually fairly easy to tell the difference
                          between seeds from wild and domesticated plants, there is nothing to prove
                          that wild plants were not being cultivated (rather than simply gathered
                          where they occurred). Indeed, it is the consensus that cultivation led to
                          domestication. The real question is how long it took.

                          <snip>


                          Bob Whiting
                          whiting@...
                        • Mikey Brass
                          Some further references on plant domestication which are very worthwhile for interested parties to read: Kusimba, S. 2005. What Is a Hunter-Gatherer? Variation
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jun 4, 2006
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                            Some further references on plant domestication which are very worthwhile
                            for interested parties to read:

                            Kusimba, S. 2005. What Is a Hunter-Gatherer? Variation in the
                            Archaeological Record of Eastern and Southern Africa. Journal of
                            Archaeological Research 13, 337-366.

                            Terrell, J., Hart, J., Barut, S., Cellinese, N., Curet, A., Denham, T.,
                            Kusimba, C., Latinis, K., Oka, R., Palka, J., Pohl, M., Pope, K.,
                            Williams, P., Haines, H. and Staller, S. 2003. Domesticated Landscapes:
                            The Subsistence Ecology of Plant and Animal Domestication. Journal of
                            Archaeological Method and Theory 10, 323-368.

                            Haaland, R. 1995. Sedentism, cultivation, and Plant Domestication in the
                            Holocene Middle Nile Region. Journal of Field Archaeology 22, 157-174.

                            With regards to David Hall's post. The earliest evidence for controlled
                            fire comes from Member III at Swartkrans, South Africa, dated to c. 1.2 mya.

                            --
                            Best, Mikey Brass
                            MA in Archaeology degree, University College London
                            "The Antiquity of Man" http://www.antiquityofman.com
                            Book: "The Antiquity of Man: Artifactual, fossil and gene records explored"

                            - !ke e: /xarra //ke
                            ("Diverse people unite": Motto of the South African Coat of Arms, 2002)
                          • Graham Hagens
                            Thanks to all for references and links. ... When the author of a Gospel fails to mention a symbolic ritual ( this is my body... )of central importance to the
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jun 4, 2006
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                              Thanks to all for references and links.

                              Jeffrey B. Gibson asked:

                              >But I'm curious to know how you define "sacramental bias" and why you
                              >see Jn 13 as suggesting an "anti-sacamental" one.

                              When the author of a Gospel fails to mention a symbolic ritual ('this is my
                              body...')of central importance to the Synoptic writers and the 1st century
                              church (1 Cor 10:17), but presents instead an inversion in which Satan
                              rather than the Holy Spirit enters in with the bread and wine, one has to
                              wonder why. Had it become necessary by the 2nd century to remind readers
                              that praxis alone does not sanctify ritual? I look forward to reading the
                              research.

                              Graham Hagens
                            • DAVID HALL
                              I am not sure if the discovery of parthenocarpic figs indicates a cultivated variety or naturally occurring parthenocarpic tree that happened by chance. Wild
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jun 4, 2006
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                                I am not sure if the discovery of parthenocarpic figs indicates a cultivated variety or naturally occurring parthenocarpic tree that happened by chance.

                                Wild oats, barley, and acorns are indications of either gathering activities or cultivation.

                                It is likely that there was some sort of agricultural acitivity by 11,000 BP as this was about the time studies indicated people were domesticating sheep in the area of the Shanidar Cave, Northern Iraq c. 11,000 BP. It was speculated that there were alot more male lamb bones in the settlement than ewe lamb bone remains indicating the culling of males in order to keep more females for the greater milk and lamb production of the flock. If the people were hunting rather than herding, then they wanted to eat the males more than the females to preserve the flock; as only one male was required to mate with many females to continue the life of the flock.

                                Villages indicate sedentary activity dependent on rich gathering/hunting grounds or the added advantage of cultivation or other advanced agricultural processes.

                                David Q. Hall
                                dqhall@...





                                Robert Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:
                                On Sat, 3 Jun 2006, DAVID HALL wrote:

                                > RE: Robert Whiting's comment:
                                >
                                > Perhaps there was a confusion between the terms domestication and
                                > cultivation. To cultivate implies "production of food by preparing the
                                > land to grow crops". This might mean planting a seed after scratching
                                > the ground with a stick and dropping seeds into the loosened soil.

                                Yes, there is doubtless a difference between cultivation and
                                domestication. Presumably domestication occurred after cultivation began
                                by selecting the seeds of the best suited grain for cultivation leading
                                eventually to the domesticated variety.

                                > The article about figs indicated that the figs were evidence of human
                                > cultivation without providing details or proof of how the author
                                > determined the figs were planted by hand or gathered from fig trees
                                > growing wild.

                                The BBC article posted by Jim West is better in this respect than the NPR
                                article. To quote from the BBC article
                                (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5038116.stm):

                                After examining the figs, they [the authors] determined that it was a
                                self-pollinating, or parthenocarpic, variety, like the kind we eat
                                today.

                                In nature, parthenocarpic fig trees appear now and again by a chance
                                genetic mutation; but because they do not produce seeds, they cannot
                                reproduce alone - they require a shoot to be removed and replanted.

                                Ofer Bar-Yosef, an archaeologist from Harvard University and an author
                                on the Science paper, said: "Once the parthenocarpic mutation occurred,
                                humans must have recognised that the resulting fruits do not produce new
                                trees, and fig tree cultivation became a common practice.

                                "In this intentional act of planting a specific variant of fig tree, we
                                can see the beginnings of agriculture. This edible fig would not have
                                survived if not for human intervention."

                                One needs to know that the parthenocarpic mutation is tastier than the
                                wild fig an hence was selected by humans for cultivation. The
                                parthenocarpic variety cannot be fertilized and can only be propagated by
                                cultivation. Cultivation by transplanting a shoot from the original tree,
                                however, is very simple.

                                > Whether the figs were thought to be hybrids from natural cross
                                > pollination or pollination by hand. The fig was usually pollinated by a
                                > wasp. When the fig was unpollinated it may have been scratched/dressed
                                > to enhance a ripening without pollination. This was a form of
                                > agricultural technology but not cultivation.

                                The parthenocarpic variety cannot be pollinated, neither by wasps nor by
                                humans. The seeds lack embryos. Interestingly, wasps were found in the
                                figs (I have now had a chance to see the original article in Science
                                rather than the news reports of it; this provides a much more detailed
                                background).

                                > James Mellaart studied the Neolithic of upper Syria and Anatolia. He
                                > cited a study where wild emmer not cultivated was gathered by hand in
                                > great quantities. Such seed may have been stored in unfired clay silos
                                > from early dates without any cultivation having occurred.
                                > Domestication of numerous plants and animals was thought to have
                                > occurred as early as the Neolithic.

                                Almost certainly as early as the neolithic. The existence of villages
                                implies cultivation (permanent settlements in the vicinity of an assured
                                food supply). While it is usually fairly easy to tell the difference
                                between seeds from wild and domesticated plants, there is nothing to prove
                                that wild plants were not being cultivated (rather than simply gathered
                                where they occurred). Indeed, it is the consensus that cultivation led to
                                domestication. The real question is how long it took.

                                <snip>


                                Bob Whiting
                                whiting@...
                              • Ariel L. Szczupak
                                The recent talk of figs reminded me of the pictures I took to illustrate that fig trees bear fruit twice a year. I took them after the claim of figs being a
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jun 4, 2006
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                                  The recent talk of figs reminded me of the pictures I took to
                                  illustrate that fig trees bear fruit twice a year. I took them after
                                  the claim of figs being a "summer fruit" came up several times in the
                                  ANE-1 list (e.g. the "niqqu" thread). Marc Cooper was kind enough to
                                  put them in the Photos section of list and you can find them in the
                                  "figs" album.

                                  The pictures are of the same branch of a "wild" fig tree that started
                                  growing in my building's garden. The file names include the dates the
                                  pictures were taken (March, July, October & February). The tree is of
                                  the variety commonly found in the Jerusalem area and in most of the
                                  country, the variety that was, and is, cultivated in Arab villages,
                                  and is also available commercially in agricultural nurseries.

                                  The dates in which the fruits form and ripen change from year to year
                                  and depend on the weather and on the available water. The fruits of
                                  the first cycle, the main one that starts early spring, are usually
                                  gone (picked, fallen, eaten by birds) by the beginning of summer
                                  (though some stay attached to the tree for months, or even to the
                                  next year). By mid summer (July & August) there are no fruits on the
                                  tree. The second cycle starts in September or October, depending on
                                  the conditions.



                                  Ariel.

                                  [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                  ---
                                  Ariel L. Szczupak
                                  AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                  POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                  Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                  ane.als@...
                                • David Hall
                                  I took a photo of a ripening fig in September 2003 on the side of Tell Lachish and posted it to a web page: http://home.att.net/~bibarch/fig_tree.htm I recall
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jun 5, 2006
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                                    I took a photo of a ripening fig in September 2003 on the side of Tell Lachish and posted it to a web page: http://home.att.net/~bibarch/fig_tree.htm

                                    I recall ripe figs were available in the Souk of Jerusalem during Rosh Hashana in September. I thought the first and second cyle of figs may have varied from tree to tree and varied according to location and yearly climate changes.

                                    In the Talmud there were a few references to eating unripe figs that were available by the time of the Passover.

                                    David Q. Hall
                                    dqhall@...


                                    "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                                    The recent talk of figs reminded me of the pictures I took to
                                    illustrate that fig trees bear fruit twice a year. I took them after
                                    the claim of figs being a "summer fruit" came up several times in the
                                    ANE-1 list (e.g. the "niqqu" thread). Marc Cooper was kind enough to
                                    put them in the Photos section of list and you can find them in the
                                    "figs" album.

                                    The pictures are of the same branch of a "wild" fig tree that started
                                    growing in my building's garden. The file names include the dates the
                                    pictures were taken (March, July, October & February). The tree is of
                                    the variety commonly found in the Jerusalem area and in most of the
                                    country, the variety that was, and is, cultivated in Arab villages,
                                    and is also available commercially in agricultural nurseries.

                                    The dates in which the fruits form and ripen change from year to year
                                    and depend on the weather and on the available water. The fruits of
                                    the first cycle, the main one that starts early spring, are usually
                                    gone (picked, fallen, eaten by birds) by the beginning of summer
                                    (though some stay attached to the tree for months, or even to the
                                    next year). By mid summer (July & August) there are no fruits on the
                                    tree. The second cycle starts in September or October, depending on
                                    the conditions.



                                    Ariel.

                                    [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                    ---
                                    Ariel L. Szczupak
                                    AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                    POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                    Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                    ane.als@...



                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Mikey Brass
                                    The January-February release Comptes Rendus Palevol. (volume 5, issues 1-2) contain articles which will be of interest to list members. The articles include
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jun 6, 2006
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                                      The January-February release Comptes Rendus Palevol. (volume 5, issues
                                      1-2) contain articles which will be of interest to list members. The
                                      articles include "Inception of agriculture and rearing in the Middle
                                      East" by Colin Renfrew.

                                      URL:
                                      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=IssueURL&_tockey=%23TOC%237242%232006%23999949998%23623385%23FLA%23&_auth=y&view=c&_acct=C000038799&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=696278&md5=56fd5d738d41fdf43878a97a3388bd4c

                                      Regards,
                                      Mike Brass
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